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Literary critics have long regarded the rejection of technology as a distinguishing feature of American Romanticism. Yet as Klaus Benesch shows in this insightful study, the attitude of antebellum writers toward the advent of the machine age was far more complicated than often supposed. Although fraught with tension, the relationship between professional authorship and evolving technology reflected a pattern of adjustment rather than opposition, as writers sought to redefine their place within a culture that increasingly valued the engineer and the scientist.
According to Benesch, major writers such as Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, Poe, Whitman, and Rebecca Harding Davis recognized technology as a powerful engine of social change -- a driving force that threatened to subordinate their creative faculties to the inexorable dictates of industrial production. In response, they conjured up "cybernetic" self-representations that attempted to preserve the autonomy of the individual author in the face of ongoing technological encroachment. These biomechanical images helped writers construct a hybrid identity that reconciled new modes of technological production with older, more organic models of professional writing.
In the end, Benesch argues, Romantic literary discourse is marked as much by admiration for the technological as by strains of resentment and cultural anxiety about its negative effects. As such, it prefigures in important and previously unacknowledged ways the modernist and postmodernist sensibilities that would follow.
From the Publisher: Explores the relationship between authorship and technology in nineteenth-century America.
Title: Romantic Cyborgs: Authorship and Technology ...
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Book Condition: Good
Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, 2002. Book Condition: Very Good. First Edition. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP84554550
Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, 2002. Cloth. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. Bright, clean, square book in lightly edge worn dust jacket. Dust jacket shows some fading on the spine. 246p. Bookseller Inventory # 049177
Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, 2002. Book Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 1558493239-2-4
Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, MA, 2002. Cloth. Book Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. First Edition. Cloth; 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 58806c
Book Description Book Condition: Good. Romantic Cyborgs: Authorship and Technology in the American Renaissance. Bookseller Inventory # Grb1015807
Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. 1St Edition. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Bookseller Inventory # 1558493239